WASHINGTON – President Bush on Monday condemned an outburst of violence in Lebanon and said he would seek $770 million toward an international aid effort for the country.
"All those who seek a peaceful, constitutional solution to the crisis in Lebanon deserve the support of the international community, but those responsible for creating chaos must be called to account," Bush said in a statement.
Over the last week, the Western-backed Lebanese government and Hezbollah protesters engaged in bloody clashes. Meanwhile, in Paris, an international donors' conference raised some $7.6 billion to help rebuild Lebanon's economy, which was ravaged during last summer's 34-day war between Hezbollah and Israel.
"I am deeply disappointed by the recent violence and bloodshed on the streets of Lebanon," Bush said. "It is all the more troubling that the violence occurred while Lebanon's legitimate leaders and friends were gathered in Paris to help secure a peaceful and prosperous future for the country."
Bush said that total U.S. support for a peaceful Lebanon will approach $1 billion if Congress backs his funding request.
"This is a strong symbol of the American people's support for and commitment to the future of Lebanon," he said.